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President-Elect of the BVA – An honour – and a duty…

If you have an interest in the professional speaking and singing voice then you may be aware of the British Voice Association (BVA). This multidisciplinary organization of professionals (laryngologists, medics, voice researchers, speech language therapists, speech coaches, and singing teachers) exists to share knowledge and the latest research in our fields.

Since becoming a BVA member 20 years ago my singing and teaching has benefitted from the wealth of expertise and knowledge generously shared amongst colleagues and the many courses on offer. I am therefore honored to be elected as President of the BVA from September 2020. My remit is …

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So You Want to Be a Jazz Singer?

To find out the difference between jazz singing and jazz styling, read my contribution to the ISingMag.com blog (well worth the visit and subscription). https://www.isingmag.com/vocal-style-a-beginners-guide-to-singing-jazz/

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Jazz Singing? I try to warn singers off the idea.

But if you still want to be a jazz singer, then prepare yourself to learn not just the tune and lyric to at least 100 songs of the Great American Songbook (eg, My Funny Valentine or Night and Day) but their form, bass lines and harmonies too. You’ll be expected to improvise, of course, sing chromatically high and low, fast and slow. And …

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Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs again this September

Louise is at Ronnie Scott’s upstairs on Monday 2 SEPTEMBER,  as Renato D’Aiello’s special guest. Saxophonist Renato and his band have a regular Monday night fixture at Ronnie’s featuring a top UK/European singer.

Renato and Louise have been playing music together (see photo from 1996). For their September date, they will feature the music of hard-bop pianist and composer, Horace Silver: with his: Song for My Father, Tokyo Blues, Pretty Eyes, Peace, amongst a few others. In true jazz fashion we won’t know what song’s coming next, who might be sitting in, or who you might be sitting next …

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In Search of the Authentic Jazz Voice

“In Search of the Authentic Jazz Voice” is the title of my presentation to the Second IJVC in Helsinki in October, held at the Sibelius Academy. Here’s the abstract:

Jazz accommodates diverse and distinct voices. Besides the ‘Greats’, think of Johnny Hartman, Carmen McRae, Andy Bey, Abbey Lincoln, Mel Tormé, Anita O’Day, Mark Murphy or Blossom Dearie. Our study of distinct jazz voices and approaches to story telling, rhythmic gesture, expression, and improvising, signals our membership of the jazz tradition. Yet we want to sound distinctly and authentically ourselves. So how to reconcile being authentic to tradition as we search …

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Out to Lunch with Steve Melling!

If you missed my lunchtime duo concert with Steve Melling on Friday 10 February at University of Leeds here is video of it. As you’ll hear, with his dynamic and deeply swinging piano style, Steve energises any musical partnership.

Concert Series: The Jazz Song Uncovered by University of Leeds – School of Music on Livestream – Livestream.com

In a programme marking 100 years of jazz singing, entitled The Jazz Song Uncovered, Steve and I span the blues roots of Bessie Smith, the American Songbook of Billie, Ella, and Sarah Vaughan, the improvisational bebop …

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Deadly Sings Down Under

My Seven Deadly Sings suite received its Southern Hemisphere premiere in my home town Auckland, New Zealand, on 18 November 2015 at The Creative Jazz Club. Bearing little resemblance to the “jazz dive” my father warned me about more than 40 years ago, this intimate and sophisticated downstairs venue was filled to capacity with family, old friends, and lovers of jazz and new music.

I can’t thank enough the talented band of musicians who beat the music into shape within a few rehearsals and delivered a searingly exciting performance and some memorable solos on the night – including pianist Crystal …

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